What you need to know:

  • Reminder that you still have a month to act before the new Item specifics requirements come into effect on 15 October.
  • We’re improving the experience to help you update your Item specifics.

As we announced in our Business Seller News in February and April this year, we’ve adjusted our approach to product-based shopping on eBay, shifting to a focus on Item specifics.

With 182m buyers shopping on eBay, there’s a huge opportunity for you to take advantage of our information on your buyers’ activity. We’re constantly monitoring the way buyers browse, search for products and use filters on eBay to find what they’re looking for. We use this information to help us create categories and to decide on the product information we need from you. When you add Item specifics to your listings, you can help increase the likelihood that your item sells. 

We’ve crunched the numbers on billions of searches to show you which ones are the most important Item specifics for each category. We’re gradually introducing requirements for Item specifics that buyers use. This information will also be used to help us understand your products, so we can make sure they appear in the range of spaces where we showcase your products. While we can suggest the key Item specifics for your listings, we encourage you to fill in as much information as possible.

As these requirements come into effect, when you create a new listing or relist an item you must fill in these Item specifics. We’re updating these changes in waves for different categories and as with the requirements so far, we’ll always give you at least 8 weeks’ notice on any upcoming changes.

"This hard work has paid off. We have more than doubled our turnover. This is due in no small part to our increased visibility on eBay search results, with impressions skyrocketing and traffic too, increasing our conversion rate"

Scott Hargrave, Senior E-Commerce Manager, Cancer Research UK

Improvements to the Item specifics experience

We’ve been listening to your feedback. To improve your experience when updating your Item specifics, we’ve made changes to support you when these requirements affect your listings.

You’ll now see which Item specifics are: 

  • “Required”, such as brand, size, colour - these are deemed critical to the buyer experience and will help improve your item’s visibility.
  • “Recommended” - these enhance the search experience for buyers. We strongly encourage you to provide these to optimise your listing and give your buyers the best experience.
  • “Additional” - these help buyers know more about your item and its features, and can play a role in the buyer’s purchasing decision.

Find out more:

As shown in the video, we’re working to support sellers by improving the experience when you list. The changes will make listing more intuitive, show you prioritisation and information on buyer searches so it’s easier and clearer to add Item specifics. 

If you use third-party listing tools, we’ll work with them to provide you information on which Item specifics are critical for sales conversion and visibility in search. Please check with your partners how they are able to support you within their tools. Alternatively, please check eBay tools for complementary information as well.

We’re also developing our filters and buyer search experience. For example, we’re adding the ability for buyers to select multiple filters at once, so if they want to look for a 'Black' and 'Green' dress at the same time, with our new developments they’ll be able to do this easily.

Early next year, there will be additional support within Seller Hub and My eBay. This will help you add Item specifics to existing listings. We’ll share more on this in the coming months. There will be further developments like this on the search experience to help show your inventory in the best way using the data you share with us.


New requirements coming 15 October

So far we’ve announced a number of new requirements in various categories, including the next phase going live this October for Home, Furniture & DIY, Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Jewellery & Watches and Toys & Games.

This October, we’ll be introducing new Item specifics requirements in 4 categories. This change will come into effect on 8 October 2019 and will apply to any new or revised listings. However, to make sure you stay competitive and can be more easily found by your buyers, be sure to make these updates to your existing listings as soon as possible. 

We’re introducing requirements for:

  • Home, Furniture & DIY
  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
  • Jewellery & Watches
  • Toys & Games

For more information on all of the mandated Item specifics, including the additional categories from above, go to the download links on our dedicated Item specifics page and download the relevant excel lists with the Item specific requirements.

Remember, sellers who complete Item specifics sell better than those who don’t. For example:

  • Furniture listings with “size” Item specific filled in, sell 56% better than those without.*
  • On average, listings in Fashion categories with Item specifics filled in, sell 47% better than those without**.


Item specific requirements coming in 2020

Next we’ll be continuing our Item specifics focus on Home & Garden and Clothing, Shoes & Accessories as well as the Electronics category. However, with a busy retail season approaching, we’ll be holding off any new requirements until early 2020. We’ll let you know of the new requirements at least 8 weeks in advance.

In 2020, we’ll be introducing requirements for:

  • Electronics
  • Home & Garden
  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories


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> Back to September 2019's Business seller news


What happens if I don't add the missing Item specifics? Will you end my listing?

Your listing won't end, but if you try to revise it, including changing the price or adjusting the stock available, or you try to add a new listing, you’ll need to add the missing Item specifics.

What happened to Fashion? There are lots of sub-categories that you're not requiring Item specifics on. Will you be finishing that category in 2020?

We will keep monitoring buyer usage of filters and also listing visibility to require Item specifics where they make the biggest difference to sales. As a result of this monitoring, more Item specifics in Fashion may become required in 2020. Therefore we advise you to be as thorough as possible when listing Fashion items to maximise your visibility.


*Based on average sales in the Furniture category on eBay.co.uk from May 2019 to June 2019.
**Based on sales in the Fashion categories of listings with required Item specifics on eBay.co.uk. Internal data between 30 December 2018 and 6 April 2019.